Arsenal have made inquiries into the availability of Holland and Hamburg winger Eljero Elia as Arsene Wenger attempts to replenish his midfield with creative talent. The midfielder is under contract with the Bundesliga club until 2014 and will cost between £8 and £10m.
Hamburg turned down an offer earlier this summer from Juventus. The fee was reportedly in the region of £6m – £1m less than Hamburg paid FC Twente just a year before. At the time, Elia told the Hamburger Morgenpost: “Hamburg told me they won’t let me join Juventus, but that’s not a problem – Juventus are no better than Hamburg in my opinion”.
“I’ve agreed with the club that we’d open talks if a big club like Arsenal or Chelsea comes knocking”.
Surely this opens the door for Arsene Wenger to make a bid. Having just sold Samir Nasri to Manchester City, a highly-rated international left winger would be just the tonic for Arsenal fans. Despite being only 24 and competing in the national side with such supreme talents as Arjen Robben and Ibrahim Afellay, Elia has 22 caps to his name.
Even at £10m, Elia is a snip compared to some of the reports linking Arsenal to a £26m bid for Lille’s Eden Hazard and a £17m bid for Kaka. There is also the promising potential to link Elia up with Dutch international team mate and new Arsenal captain, Robin Van Persie.